Eyes Closed, Arms Clenched – Paulo Guerrero
Fresh off a spinal-cord injury (SCI), Paulo Guerrero is not holding back. On July 2, 2018, Guerrero got in a motorcycle accident which resulted in a T3 complete SCI.
“I remember trying to get up but not being able to, begging for my legs to work until I came to terms with what happened. My next memory was a few days after in the hospital and having the surgeon come into my room and tell me that I am a T3 complete and that I would never walk again,” he says.
Guerrero, 20, quickly got involved in sports not long after the accident. He participates in basketball, CrossFit, adaptive skiing, racing and rowing. His favorite sport so far is racing because of the speed. Sports are a huge part of his life.
“My favorite thing about sports and the gym is the ability to push everything to the side and focus both mentally and physically and to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of,” Guerrero says. “I also love the team aspect of it all – being able to meet people everywhere but also to have teammates with everyone having roughly the same mentality creates an awesome environment to be a part of.”
In November 2018, Guerrero decided to really step out of his comfort zone. One day while he was in rehab, a friend of his invited him to go bungee jumping. This decision was easy for him. While in rehab, he met a woman who told him to always step out of his comfort zone. Feeling motivated, Guerrero couldn’t turn down the opportunity to bungee jump, just four months after his accident, in his wheelchair.
“Eyes closed, and arms clenched… I fell,” he says. “After I realized I wasn’t going to die, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely awesome, and I would love to do it again. I’m also planning to go skydiving this summer!”
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